Special meeting to address critical township issues
Feb. 24, 2015 PLYMOUTH VOICE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Plymouth Township officials have scheduled an impromptu Board of Trustees-Special Meeting for Saturday, February 28 at Township Hall at 9:00 a.m.
The meeting labeled as a work session has three agenda items:
- State of the Township
- Communication Service Agreement with Plymouth City
- Fire Service Agreement with Plymouth City-dissolution and legacy costs
Public safety in both communities has been at the center of controversy since the two disbanded the shared community fire department in 2011. After the dissolution of the joint community department, the City of Plymouth partnered with the City of Northville to provide services through an on-call fire service. The dispatch for both Plymouth and Plymouth Township fire and police emergencies are handled by the Plymouth Township Police Department Dispatch Center under a separate and complex joint communication service agreement.
Recently, auditors from Plante Moran found several problem areas in preparing the audit of Plymouth Township financial records finally submitted last December, five months past the June 30 deadline.
Township officials said that the five-month delay in the required financial audit was caused by a lack of documentation from the City of Plymouth regarding amounts owed to the township for legacy costs in the Plymouth Community Fire Department. The two communities ended a joint operating agreement at the beginning of 2012 and township officials claim that the city owes about $1.3 million in health care costs for retirees. City officials have questioned the accuracy of the amount claimed by the township.
The Plante Moran audit shows that the township submitted Other Post Employment Benefits (OPEB) as the legacy costs for the Community Fire Department based on an actuary report and not reported as a fund liability. Examination of the audit reveals that accounting practices and OPEB are negatively affecting solvency as the township’s net position that dropped 63 percent from $15.3 million in 2006 to a low $5.6 million, a negative sum of $9.7 million. The auditors’ reconciliation of the township balance sheet reflecting the OPEB funds shows the Net Position of Governmental Activities now equals $5,620,113.
“We wouldn’t have this problem if it hadn’t been for the City of Plymouth,” said Township Treasurer Ron Edwards during the December audit discussion.
It would appear from the audit report that the township is in a negative net position of approximately $6 million for governmental activities. No provision was made in the audit for the new pension reporting standards, which could place the township in a further negative net position without some action.
There will be opportunities for public comment and questions.